News Brief

Retaliation For Galwan Aggression: India To Forbid Use Of Chinese Telecom Gear By BSNL, Private Companies

Swarajya Staff

Jun 18, 2020, 08:19 AM | Updated 08:24 AM IST

Huawei (Representative Image) (David Becker/Getty Images)
Huawei (Representative Image) (David Becker/Getty Images)

News reports say that the Indian government will soon 'bar Chinese companies from providing any telecom equipment' to public sector telecom companies. Further, the union government may also push private telecom operators from putting to use equipment supplied by Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE in the future.

According to the Economic Times, the union telecom department will likely cancel tenders for the supply of 4G telecom equipment to the state owned BSNL Ltd (Bharat Sanchal Nigam Limited) with the aim of rejigging the tender to make sure Chinese companies are left out or denied an opportunity to supply.

These moves kick off India's response to Chinese aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Galwan, Ladakh.

Chinese telecom companies presently enjoy about 25 per cent market share in the Rs 12,000 crore Indian market. Other companies in the fray include Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung.

The report by Economic Times also said that the government took these decisions at the highest levels, and that the establishment is seized of the importance of telecom equipment forming the backbone of India's digital infrastructure.

"We have constantly received complaints from our telecom manufacturers that China is not permitting import of Indian telecom equipment where as it is subsidizing Chinese telecom gear which is then underpriced in the Indian market,” the newspaper quoted an official as saying.

“As a result, our indigenous telecom equipment manufacturers are unable to come-up".

Last March the United States (U.S) announced new export controls aimed at limiting Chinese technology giant Huawei's access to semiconductor technology. The U.S has said Huawei's technology could be used for spying by the Chinese government.

U.S President DonaldTrump earlier this month extended an executive order signed in May 2019 that declared a national emergency and banning U.S firms from buying or using telecom hardware that are manufactured by companies posting a national security risk to America.

The U.S Commerce Department will however extend temporary licences that will allow U.S firms to 'keep doing business with Huawei' with a view towards minimising disruption in existing services and networks.

Trump has pressured allies, including the UK and Germany, to bar Huawei from their networks and sued the company for technology theft and doing business with Iran, in violation of US sanctions.

Huawei has contested the US government's claims and said American efforts are likely to backfire, hurting the ability of US tech firms to do business.

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